I was surprised that during communism the personnel department registered us Roma under the letter R
Emil Voráč was born on 25 March 1961 in Karlovy Vary into a family of Romani people who immigrated to the Czech Republic from Slovakia just after the war. He spent his childhood in the Karlovy Vary region and went to school in Chodov near Karlovy Vary. He came from a large family - his mother had nine siblings and he was one of five children. From childhood he had a desire to be a famous musician or singer, and he even beat Dalibor Janda [a pop singer, trans.] in a singing competition. He wanted to work in Amati Kraslice, but he trained as a tractor mechanician and an agricultural machinery repairman. During his military service he found out that citizens of Roma origin were listed in a special register marked by the letter R during communism, which he verified after the revolution. In 1989 he was on the strike committee, after the Velvet Revolution he founded the Roma Club of Interpersonal Relations and studied the subject of social work in the milieu of ethnic minorities at the Evangelical Academy in Prague. In 2001, he founded the Khamoro society, which has been helping people from excluded localities in the Karlovy Vary Region for a long time and is also involved in commemorating the Romani Holocaust. Although being a Roma, he learned Romani as an adult from Roma people and now uses it as his second language. Emil Voráč fights against violence, injustice, racism and xenophobia and organises demonstrations. At one of them he welcomed the architect Osamu Okamura. Currently (2022) Emil Voráč and Khamoro are helping Roma refugees from Ukraine.